State Watch

State legislatures see record number of women of color


A record number of women of color were seated in state legislatures across the country in 2021, according to data released Monday by Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP).

The figures show that of the 2,288 women serving in state legislatures nationwide in 2021, 606 are women of color. Of those women, 579 are Democrats, 25 are Republicans, one is an Independent and another has no party affiliation.

Of the legislators, 355 are Black women, 154 identify as Latina, 67 are Asian or Pacific Islander, 32 are indigenous lawmakers and 10 are Middle Eastern or North African. Two women identified as multiracial.

Twenty-two women of color serve in positions of leadership.

An additional 31 women of color are serving in the legislatures of U.S. territories and the Council of the District of Columbia.

CAWP compiled the data based on officeholders’ self-identification.

The figures come as both Democrats and Republicans prioritize recruiting women and people of color to run for offices up and down the ballot. A record number of women are currently serving in state legislatures overall and in the U.S. Congress, according to figures from CAWP. 

“These two stories are the same,” CAWP Director Debbie Walsh told The Hill in December. “The results of the state legislatures are mirroring the story that we saw at the congressional level.”

Tags Center for American Women and Politics State legislature Women in the United States

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